Available for Interviews: Dr. Alice Fong
Alice Fong, ND, is an integrative naturopathic doctor specializing in stress, integrative medicine, diet & weight loss, and is a business growth consultant for holistic healthcare providers.
What Dr. Alice Fong can say
in an interview on Anger:
- Anger is a powerful emotion that can be motivating and calls people into action, yet at the same time, it can be destructive and harmful to ourselves and others. The riots at the Capitol last week were a clear demonstration of anger getting way out of control leading to harm, destruction, and deaths.
- Anger often results out of a perceived injustice that has occurred to that person, or to an individual or group that person cares deeply about. And more often than not, the deeper underlying emotion behind anger is fear. Fear and anger happen to be controlled by the same part of the brain, the amygdala. And when the amygdala is activated from a perceived threat or injustice, the body goes into a ‘fight-or-flight’ state, which is also known as our stress response. Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol flood the bloodstream, and cause a cascade of physiological events such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, faster breathing, sweating, and pupils dilating.
- Prolonged anger can result in a lot of negative health impacts such as raising blood pressure, increasing inflammation, lowering immune function, and causing digestive issues, headaches, and/or insomnia. It should also be mentioned that holding onto resentment and anger leads to damaged relationships, and in some extreme instances, actual physical harm to people and property.
6 Steps to Manage Anger
in a Healthier Way
- Feel it. Process it. Then Let It Go. Obviously this is easier said than done, but by allowing the emotion to move through you rather than be bottled up, it will result in you feeling happier with life. And this takes practice. What might help is if you can ask yourself, “What do I want more? To stay angry about it for a while, or to let it go so I can move on with my life and feel happy again.”
- It’s okay to express your anger and emotions but be mindful about how you express it. Ask yourself, is the way I’m expressing it going to be productive for the outcome I want? Or will it add more fuel to the fire resulting in a bigger argument and most likely not the desired result. Expressing yourself in a way so you can feel heard and understood by the other party is one thing, but screaming and name-calling, so it causes the other person to activate their own stress or anger response, typically only escalates the situation.
- Take a breath or go for a walk so you can cool off, because in the heat of the moment, you might say hurtful things that you will not be able to take back. If you have concerns about the other person feeling abandoned, you can communicate that you do want to have a conversation with them about it after you cool off, but you know you will not be able to talk with a clear head right now when you’re seeing red.
- Take a step back and try to understand the other person’s perspective. When you do this, you might realize that perhaps that person had no intention of hurting you, nor did they want to make you angry. They are also dealing with their own life and might not have been aware of the impact their actions had on you. If you are comfortable enough, you can ask questions to better understand why they did what they did and perhaps you might find yourself having some compassion for them, or hopefully at the very least, less anger at them. Even if they did intentionally try to hurt or upset you, what purpose does it serve YOU to hold onto that anger?
- Practice mindfulness. Whether it’s a breathing exercise, meditation, self-reflection journaling, a mindfulness practice can help us become more tuned into our bodies, allowing us to notice the signs of when we are triggered and reactive, such as our heart racing or our face getting hot. It also allows us to practice being present in the moment.
- Get support. There are a ton of resources to help you deal with anger, from classes and workshops, books, or seeking out professional help with a therapist or counselor. There is nothing wrong with getting help. It does not mean you’re weak. If anything, it takes strength and courage to admit you don’t have the answers to everything, and getting the help you need will only improve the quality of your life in a shorter period of time. If you get really angry frequently and feel like you have no control over it, working with a professional can also help you explore any underlying reasons or emotions for why that happens.
Interview: Dr. Alice Fong
Known as the “Virtual Stress Doc,” Alice Fong, ND, helps busy professionals break free from their stress and anxiety so that they can focus on what matters to them using a 5-step holistic approach. She is the founder and CEO of Amour de Soi Wellness, which offers one-on-one wellness programs, corporate wellness workshops, e-learning, and resilience training courses.
Director of Public Relations
Success In Media, Inc.